Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gifts Gone Bad

By Judith Garfield

Gift giving time is upon us once again, and although I know it’s the thought that counts, sometimes ya just gotta say “What were they thinking?”

You know the thoughts I’m talking about. Like chocolate for the diabetic, wine for the tee totaler, or peanuts for those who suffer from allergies. So many well-meaning gifts never see the light of day after their initial opening. They are immediately shuffled to the re-gift collection to await recycling to some other hapless giftee.

I don’t know why people are so averse to giving gift cards. Or money. Two things that never go out of style and are always appreciated. My relatives feel it is impersonal and looks like you didn’t care enough to select something heartfelt. From my unofficial survey I can report that this is not true. People love getting money or gift cards. They are thrilled they can actually go pick out something that they really like. Not something they have to pretend to like.

The worst presents to get are those that have no tags or discernible place of purchase. Is that brooch true vintage or is it a piece of junk from some yard sale? Alas, we will never know. We can’t help buying pieces that reflect our personal taste, which is not necessarily the taste of the recipient. It’s inevitable you’re going to get one or more bad gifts this season. You are not alone. Take a look at to see how yours measure up. You can even try to sell the unwanted stuff here. Like they say, one man’s bad gift is another man’s bad gift.

That is why I like gift cards or cash, although you do run the risk of giving cards to stores that the person doesn’t like, or worse, goes out of business before it is used. And some have expiration dates. The gift of cash is accepted by any store, is completely transferable, and never expires. If you want a cute and personalized way of giving money log onto They sell money holders in different colors with stickers that you can use to make each envelope unique.

So think outside the gift box this season. Remember, ‘tis better to give and receive!


Anonymous said...

I love your commentary on the wisdom of giving cash ----its acceptable at any store, transferable and never expires. You failed to mention that it continues to become devalued. So, your kind gift of twenty dollars this year might just be worth fifteen next Christmas. So, I'll take my chances on the antique brooch and hope that someday I might find out it's real gold!

Anonymous said...

gift card or cash over something I will never use and even worse can't return ANY DAY. I'll always remember who got me the gift card to the place where I bought that thing I really needed, thanks!

Big Shantz said...

in some cultures gifts are not to be kept. if a gift may be consumed then it is to be shared, thereby increasing the respect for this individual in the society. if the gift is ornamental then it is to be kept briefly and passed on to others &, at each passing, the 'value' of the gift increases. i was going to wrap this up w/ a joke but i've got to run to a conference call. happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

You can give me a gift any time, LC!! I love the way you think!